Operators Failing to Attract New Subscribers

In spite of the millions invested in marketing, advertising and high street stores, mobile operators’ efforts to attract new subscribers are having little effect, with an overwhelming 72 per cent of subscribers saying they change their service provider less than once every five years.

That is one of the key findings of a survey of 2,000 UK consumers, conducted on behalf of OpenCloud, the telecoms software provider. The study found that a small minority seem to be responsible for the vast majority of customer churn. Yet operators still focus the majority of resources and effort into capturing this smaller group of churners, while overlooking their existing, and loyal, subscriber bases for opportunities to differentiate themselves, and grow amid an inert market and declining revenues.

The survey also found that subscribers will respond to offers, with 29 per cent of respondents saying they would be keen to be notified of any promotions. In addition, 43 per cent of subscribers said that they would like mixed mobile charges, with some functions on a basic data plan and others on pay-as-you-go terms. OpenCloud says this desire for relevant offers and flexible pricing plans provides operators with a watershed moment to differentiate themselves, through innovative services, combined with relevant promotions and agile pricing.

“The results of the survey have shown that the mobile market is stagnant,” says Jonathan Bell, VP of marketing at OpenCloud. “It is highly likely that the reason subscribers are reluctant to switch service providers is that there is not much difference between the offers they are putting to the market. But this survey does highlight that consumers are susceptible to new services, if marketed and promoted correctly.

“Greater emphasis on service innovation will allow operators to break free from the price war straitjacket. However, a successful response to new services from consumers will only occur if these services are underpinned by solid, flexible pricing offers that are targeted at subscribers that will be tempted to use them. Operators can implement a framework that speeds up the development, and time-to-market, of new services and charging models. This strategy enables carriers to stimulate usage from existing subscribers, and offer meaningful differentiation to capture new customers.”